Thermit Destructor (TD-A)

Disarmco’s Thermit Destructor TD-A is a modified, high temperature Thermite mix specifically designed to rapidly burn through thin sheet metal casings and ignite High Explosive (HE) fillings or other energetic materials held within.

This product allows burning of munitions without having to actively access/cut through casings and expose the explosives.

Burning using TD-A greatly reduces the risk of deflagration and detonation of the target munition and therefore minimises the impact of fragmentation, blast over pressure and acoustic pollution by initiating rapid combustion of the munition fillings.

The TD-A units are designed to accommodate common ammunition designs and to ensure intimate contact can be further adapted by the user.

TD-A is initiated using the Thermite Initiated Starter (TIS).

Thermit 950g BC Test – 10mm Steel hot drop – 27th February 2016

10mm steel sheet hot drop test, using 950g of Thermit.

The test plate (10mm) is set at an angle of 45°.

Ignition occurs at 4 seconds into video:

Reaction established at 9 seconds into video, 5 seconds after ignition:

Molten iron drop established at 12 seconds into video, 8 seconds from ignition:

Main iron drop complete; only slag falling at 14 seconds into video which is 10 seconds from ignition:

Hot drop completed 18 seconds into video which is 14 seconds after ignition. Iron and slag can be seen on the underside of the 10mm plate having cut through the metal sheet.

The impact side of the hot drop appears to have no hole through the plate as the hole has been filled with slag after the iron drop:

Once cleared of slag, the impact side revealed an elongated crater approximately 50 x 26mm sloping to an elongated hole of 20 x 10mm:

The underside after slag has been cleared revealing an elongated hole:

Thermit Powder Burn-through Trials – TWS, January 2015

We have undertaken a series of tests to investigate the capability of different masses of Thermit Powder to burn through mild steel plates of varying thickness. The test data was produced by Disarmco relating to their munitions deflagration systems.

Test plates tested were 3mm, 4mm, 5mm and 6mm. The test plates used were 200m x 200m square. Short lengths of 3mm walled 53mm bore steel pipe were prepared and used for containment of the reaction such that the resulting reaction could burn through the plate. The containment pipes were sealed to the steel plate using a refractory putty to prevent any liquid metal loss between the plate and the pipe during the tests. The test plate was stood on top of a sand filled crucible to catch the liquid metal steel that burnt through the plate during the test. On completion of the test, photographs were taken of the plate to provide a record of the shape and size of any holes burnt through the plates.

Different weights of Thermit powder were used to determine which produced the optimum burn through. These weights were selected based on the thickness of the plate being tested with lower weights of Thermit powder being used for the thinner plates.

Table 1 below gives the details of the tests undertaken:

Test No Plate Thickness (mm) Thermit Powder Weight
Burnt Through Plate Details of size of burnt through hole.
1 3 100 Yes Figure 1
2 3 150 Yes Figure 2
3 3 200 Yes Figure 3
4 3 250 Yes Figure 4
5 4 150 No Figure 5
6 4 200 No Figure 6
7 4 250 Yes Figure 7
8 4 300 Yes Figure 8
9 5 250 No Figure 9
10 5 300 Yes Figure 10
11 5 350 Yes Figure 11
12 5 400 Yes Figure 12
13 6 300 Yes Figure 13
14 6 350 Yes Figure 14

Following the above tests it is considered that for Mild Steel plate up to a thickness of 6mm, a weight of 300g of Plain Thermit will ensure burn through and egress of liquid steel to materials beneath the plate.

82mm Mortar

Libyan EOD Teams under training at MAT Kosovo Training School.


Demilitarisation: The decommissioning of munitions is an international challenge especially in the area of HE filled Explosive Ordnance. Open detonation has become increasingly difficult due to environmental pressures and constraints.

TD-A offers a useful alternative to the standard HE countermine charge where detonation and deflagration are unacceptable events.

EOD: The reduction of collateral damage and environmental impact are often significant considerations in EOD operations. TD-A units offer an alternative Low Order neutralisation option where the risk of detonation or deflagration is significantly reduced.

Furthermore, by removing the requirement to case access, the EOD operator significantly reduces risk and increases throughput productivity.

Advantages of TD-A

  • Reduced fragmentation hazard
  • Reduced blast over-pressure
  • Reliable burns out large weapons without the need for Hydro Abrasive Cutting or trepanning to get access to the fill
  • Reliable against a wide range of military High Explosive fillings

Nato Stock Number (NSN): 1375-99-859-2300

Product SOP: Thermit Destructor (TD-A)

Product SOP (Ukraine Translation): Thermit Destructor (TD-A)

Product Leaflet: Thermit Destructor (TD-A)

Product Leaflet (French Translation): Thermit Destructor (TD-A)

Disarmco would like to thank Marceau Guilbaud, who is the technical translator of this document from English to French.